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thesecondopinion

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Cancer, Health, Health Support, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: The mission of thesecondopinion is to provide free, comprehensive second opinions to adults in California diagnosed with cancer. Over our 50 year history, we have impacted the lives of thousands of cancer patients and their families. It is important to note that thesecondopinion does not diagnose or treat cancer patients and is independent of any medical institution. The value that we provide to cancer patients is the opportunity to have 4-7 independent, board certified cancer specialists carefully review their medical records, images and pathology slides and communicate directly as a committee with the patient and family. Through this dialogue, the volunteer physicians are able to answer questions directed by the patient, confirm the diagnosis and provide a detailed explanation of the extent of the disease, treatment options and the benefit of those treatment options. With this approach we are able to provide patients the information necessary to manage their disease, improve their well-being (peace of mind) and to face potentially difficult choices.

Target demographics: cancer patients and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Successfully served 251 cancer patients and their family members

Geographic areas served: all counties in California

Programs: Since 1969 (50 years!) thesecondopinion has provided free, comprehensive second opinions to thousands of adults in California diagnosed with cancer. The heart of our program relies on the volunteer efforts of over seventy board-certified physicians from multiple cancer-related specialties. Their diverse experiences in cancer diagnosis and treatment allow us to provide a patient-centered and compassionate service not duplicated by any other agency in California.

Community Stories

57 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In December 2016 I was diagnosed with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto. A biopsy was also performed at Stanford and confirmed the tumor in my right lower lobe plus cancerous cells in lymph nodes near my esophagus. My Stanford team recommended 3 rounds of high dose chemo therapy followed by surgery to remove the tumor. I asked thesecondopinion to review Stanford's findings, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. A panel of highly qualified physicians with thesecondopinion thoroughly reviewed my case, findings and Stanford's treatment recommendations. I met with the panel in San Francisco and they answered all my questions, agreed with Stanford's findings and treatment plan. Having that second opinion gave me a great deal of comfort knowing my recommended treatment plan was spot on for my condition.Unfortunately, after 2 rounds of Chemo I suffered a moderate heart attach on March 10th, 2017. In light of that event my Stanford Team decided surgery to remove the tumor after Chemo would be far too risky. They therefore recommended 5 rounds or Chemo plus 22 daily sessions of radiation treatments. Once again I asked thesecondopinion to review this new treatment recommendation. And again, after careful review they concurred with my Stanford Team's findings and recommendations. Once again the professional panel of physicians at thesecondopinion gave me a great deal of comfort and the courage to proceed with the combination of chemo and radiation therapy.I'm a true believer in thesecondopinion and recommend anyone with cancer seeking answers contact this great organization. And, the most beautiful part is there is absolutely 'no charge' for this fantastic service and the piece of mind.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This was an unbelievably good experience. 5 oncologists spend their whole day doing case review and second opinions for 3 patients. Oncology pathologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists. Also excellent volunteer support staff, one of whom was a two time cancer survivor, so personal experience and understanding. The physician panel did a thorough review, with all the ct & pet scan etc images up on the screen; went over all the labs; the staging; current medical trials, and the patient’s options going forward, with very detailed explanation of each. (I was not the pt, I was one of her support people). Quite a bit of the detailed review of her diagnostic studies was new to the pt. She had found it difficult to get detailed explanations from her oncology team. For me ( a retired ICU nurse, it was an incredible experience, and really clarified the pts best course of action, with great detail as to why. As we all know, most practicing physicians do not have the time to do this with ANY of their patients, much less each one. The support staff also spent a lot of time with us, going over resources available, and a resource for any future inquiries. An AWESOME service, all volunteer!

Client Served

Rating: 5


Thesecondopinion - free second opinion for San Francisco cancer patients. It is a group of professional doctors who give their time and experts opinion regarding cancer diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. 
I had breast cancer in 2006. Thesecondopinion helped me tremendously.
They explained to me my diagnosis, prognosis and treatment.
They calmed my fear.
They talked to my doctor on my behalf .
They gave me strength to fight.
July of 2019 I was diagnost with skin cancer.
Even I'm patient with experience, I got scared and upset. Thanks to thesecondopinion, I again got help and support.
I highly recommend thesecondopinion to people dealing with cancer.

Thesecondopinion is GreatNonprofit.

They're great. Thanks to Lori Bode, all doctors and staff.


2

Client Served

Rating: 5

When i was struggling with decisions to be made about my future, second opinion stepped in and gave me hope. The in depth second opinion given was so thorough and complete that it clarified many things about my diagnosis and gave me the information i needed to make an informed treatment decision during a stressful time. The input was invaluable.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer and a cancer survivor I see the impact The Second Opinion makes on patients lives. Often they come to their panel review confused by their diagnosis, afraid of the treatment, and unsure of their future. They come out of the panel review confident in the knowledge of their disease, understand why treatment is being recommended and see a path forward. This is an incredible non-profit that truly cares about the people they serve.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am honored to be a volunteer with thesecondopinion. As a cancer survivor myself, I know the value of receiving a second opinion. This organization is the answer many patients are looking for when they need to understand their diagnosis and make treatment decisions. I see the care and compassion given to every patient by the staff and the volunteer physicians. What an incredible organization!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Consultants,
Since your uplifting consultation, my life has returned to almost normal because I believe now that Kaiser's treatments improve my chances of disease-free survival. No more distrust can ruin my pleasure in life!
When camping on Mt. Diablo for Easter my positive feelings were like a colorful collection of Easter eggs. Spring seemed beautiful as ever and my belief in doctors' integrity warmed my heart.
My search for financial support of your amazing assistance in making cancer patients feel professionally consulted(WITHOUT CHARGING A FEE) will continue as long as I live. You are the most admirable group of people!
Forever grateful!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a grateful recipient of thesecondopinion. I was diagnoses with prostate cancer early this year and was confused as to the best treatment option. The opinion I received from thesecondopinion specialist helped me greatly in making that decision.
I underwent surgery in May this year. All early results, including the biopsy following surgery as well as my first PSA are indicative that the prostate cancer was successfully and completely removed from my body.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I want to thank you for your gracious service and thoughtful kindness. Also many thanks to the great doctors who give so much of their precious time. Your program is immeasurable service to many!
Thank you again!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you so much for all your help and guidance. What a wonderful service Thesecondopinion offers. I am very fortunate to have had so many doctors review and report on my case.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

In December 2016 I was diagnosed with Stage III non-small cell lung cancer at Stanford Hospital in Palo Alto. A biopsy was also performed at Stanford and confirmed the tumor in my right lower lobe plus cancerous cells in lymph nodes near my esophagus. My Stanford team recommended 3 rounds of high dose chemo therapy followed by surgery to remove the tumor.

I asked thesecondopinion to review Stanford's findings, diagnosis and treatment recommendations. A panel of highly qualified physicians with thesecondopinion thoroughly reviewed my case, findings and Stanford's treatment recommendations. I met with the panel in San Francisco and they answered all my questions, agreed with Stanford's findings and treatment plan. Having that second opinion gave me a great deal of comfort knowing my recommended treatment plan was spot on for my condition.

Unfortunately, after 2 rounds of Chemo I suffered a moderate heart attach on March 10th, 2017. In light of that event my Stanford Team decided surgery to remove the tumor after Chemo would be far too risky. They therefore recommended 5 rounds or Chemo plus 22 daily sessions of radiation treatments. Once again I asked thesecondopinion to review this new treatment recommendation. And again, after careful review they concurred with my Stanford Team's findings and recommendations. Once again the professional panel of physicians at thesecondopinion gave me a great deal of comfort and the courage to proceed with the combination of chemo and radiation therapy.

I'm a true believer in thesecondopinion and recommend anyone with cancer seeking answers contact this great organization. And, the most beautiful part is there is absolutely 'no charge' for this fantastic service and the piece of mind.

Previous Stories
3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with thesecondopinion was so satisfying -just so you know-the care and monitoring process we put i place (supported by thesecondopinion professionals) has worked beautifully! I am doing fine now- Grateful for the sense of security and control thesecondopinion provided.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am lucky enough to be a program coordinator at thesecondopinion which allows me to help others in understanding their cancer diagnosis. I am originally from Southern California, and have primarily worked in customer service, however after watching my grandmother go through breast cancer treatment, and a cancer scare myself in December, I felt the need to help patients on a person to person basis. Not only does this organization assist patients in a stressful time, but does so with compassion and empathy that truly benefits each individual patient.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is with a very full and grateful heart that I am sending you an update on my case. After seeing you all there, we changed our insurance and transferred my care to the doctors up here in Northern California. I had the tumor removed , 30 radiation treatments. Good food, exercise and supplements all through out the treatments and I am happy to say that my current CT scan shows no new spots, the pulmonary nodules that the previous hospital said were metastatic and therefore put me at Stage 4 - are no longer an issue per the Oncologist here. All is stable, I do have some inflammation from the radiation but expected that. Will follow up with a PET scan in September. Words cannot express how thankful I am for you all and the doctors up here where I live for having a whole different perspective and thoughts process for my care. Thank you so much and please share with all that were involved with me. I tell folks about you guys all of the time. Thank you and God bless all of you and all of us fighting cancer and other debilitating illnesses.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am SOOOOO Grateful to your doctors for supporting me and helping me twice, even, and I just HAD to share my GREAT NEWS with you all! I had a CT scan follow up on Tuesday (5/29/18) and my doctor told me I no longer have ANY cancer in my breast! I've been taking that drug that starts with an A. No surgery. My husband and I just REALLY wanted to tell you all this GREAT News! We are so appreciative of your doctors and the way they helped us, just so grateful. Please tell them right away! We are CELEBRATING!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

To the second opinion,
I do wish I could donate more, but I only have a limited income and this is my monthly tithing to my church. Since you were my "angel" this month, I'm sending it to you. I just wish there was some way I could express my gratitude for your service you provided and the grace and friendliness and compassion in how it was given.
Thank you so very much!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

To my friends at 2nd Opinion,
Thank you so very much for your support and for giving me such detailed, diverse individual to me about my case information. So many of you coming together to discuss MY case and it showed that you CARED and had looked at all of my background before we sat down to meet.
You really helped me feel better about my decision and gave me strength.
Best wishes to you all!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I left my thesecondopinion panel feeling very fulfilled, not always the case with cancer situations. Thank you for the time and dedication your whole staff and doctors gave us.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am very grateful for the chance to be included as a patient at thesecondopinion. I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and neuroendocrine cancer in my lung in 2014. After telling my doctor I wanted a second opinion, she recommended that I try thesecondopinion. The office staff was cheerful, prompt, and professional. The panel was made up of doctor specialists from different disciplines. They had all looked at my records ahead of time and were ready to discuss and answer any questions about my case and then they made recommendations for a plan. It totally put my mind at ease to have another opinion about the type of cancer, staging, and treatment needed. It is very humbling when professionals of this caliber volunteer their time to help people in their darkest time of need. THANK YOU!!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thesecondopinion is a place where cancer patients come for help, support and hope.
I'm a former patient.
I met there beautiful people who helped me to understand my diagnosis , prognosis, who gave me hope and who talk to me and my oncologist on my behalf.
All for free . Thesecondopinion is great nonprofit . Special thanks to Director Lori Bode.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for saving my life thesecondopinion!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience at thesecondopinion! I was able to ask all of my many questions and receive thorough and understandable answers. It's definitely a place where patients can feel "heard" by doctors - sometimes for the first time since their diagnosis.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In March I started working at thesecondopinion as their Program Coordinator. It is absolutely my favorite position thus far as I Iove interacting with and supporting our patients! I feel that we are providing an invaluable service and we cherish our volunteer physicians who make this all possible. Way to go, thesecondopinion!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dear Doctors,
Immense Thank Yous to each of you for the time and attention you gave me regarding my health concerns. Your insight and advice are PRICELESS to me and my family and we feel quite privileged to have been a part of thesecondopinion program!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Thesecondopinion is a unique organization in that patients and their families have the opportunity, free of charge, to ask face-to-face questions of an objective panel of doctors who specialize in the patient’s specific treatment needs. This experience provides clarity for cancer patients who face difficult decisions in their treatment.

I had the honor of attending a second opinion panel in support of a patient, and I found the panel physicians to be very knowledgeable, professional, and informative. The staff obtained all of the medical records, pathology slides, and radiology for second opinion panel to review. They were very welcoming and made us feel right at home!

Thesecondopinion in an invaluable resource for patients with cancer and families coping with the illness of their loved ones.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you to the second opinion doctors and staff for all the information and help! I was diagnosed with stage 4 metastatic breast cancer and I was not feeling comfortable with my treatment plan. I wanted a second opinion to be sure I was on the right path and that the medical industry was not out to save money and not give me the best treatment plan possible. After sitting with a panel of very kind and informative doctors I learned I was in fact on the best treatment plan and they also gave me hope. I walked out of there feeling better than I have about my diagnosis in weeks. Thanks again!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just want to express my gratitude to Lori and Dr. Kleckner at the Second Opinion during my time of desperate need. I was in a situation where two doctors gave me two different treatment options which caused me a lot of anxiety and stress in making the final decision. In addition, i had a time constraint to make my decision. In order for one of the treatment to be effective, I need to start right away...what should I do??? Thanks to Lori and Dr. Kleckner who were able to quickly helped me with their valuable advices which gave me the confidence and comfort that I need to make my final decision for my treatment. The Second Opinion is truly a terrific organization which provided much-needed support for cancer patients.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization not only helped me in understanding my cancer diagnosis but also gave me the reassurance I needed to proceed with the proper treatment that is necessary in defeating this disease. I am utterly grateful to both the coordinator, Lori, and the panel who oversaw my case. If facing unknowns or uncertainties regarding your cancer diagnosis and treatment, or even need reassurance that you are headed in the correct direction, I highly recommend reaching out to thesecondopinion for help. We need more organizations like this out there!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to be granted a panel second opinion with Thesecondopinion. It was a wonderful experience. Everyone was professional and caring. It gave me relief to know I was getting the best treatment and that everything is being done to give me the quality of life I want to have. Thank you to everyone on the panel as well as all the ladies in the office. You made the experience for my family and I very comfortable.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my cancer recurred earlier this year, I was shocked. My husband and I wanted an independent 2nd opinion to help us decide how to proceed.

The Second Opinion did just that! They freely gave of their time and expertise, including with follow-up questions. They took care of details big and small. They made my husband and me feel comfortable.

We are very grateful that The Second Opinion thought to provide a recorded audio file of our session with the panelists. The panelists covered so much useful information with us that was hard to absorb it all in real time. The recording allowed us to review the information at our leisure. This helped us to proceed with confidence.

We are still very touched by the kindness, thoughtfulness, efficiency and generosity that was shown to us by the folks at The Second Opinion. The service that they provide at an anxious time is truly amazing! We HIGHLY recommend them!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

When my husband was diagnosed with an aggressive form of prostate cancer, we were overwhelmed with the choices of treatment available and which one to choose. Not one doctor would tell us what he should do! Thankfully, the wonderful staff and Doctors at The Second Opinion helped us navigate the mirade of options and make a decision on how best to proceed to treat my husband's cancer. The relief and peace of mind we felt were just what we needed at that time! My husband even received personal phone calls from one of the Doctors, which was very comforting to him. I'm so grateful to this amazing organization and all of the work that they do!

3

Client Served

Rating: 5


Just a note to say how grateful we are to you, Lori, Cheri, Joanie, Dr. Kleckner and the members of the panel for a wonderful experience last Friday. Your combination of professionalism, expertise, generosity, warmth and humor is extraordinary, and we left with a sense of confidence that we are pursuing the right treatment track.

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Prior to working for this wonderful nonprofit I referred numerous women diagnosed with breast cancer to thesecondopinion. Most of these women were newly diagnosed and often times were delaying treatment, because they were undecided about their treatment options, or did not fully understand the benefits of each treatment option. Some of the women I referred just wanted to hear from an outside independent medical team that they were receiving optimal care and doing all they could to prevent the cancer from returning. Having free access to an independent second opinion helped these women gain the knowledge they needed to make informed treatment decisions. It also helped to alleviate some of the anxiety and emotional trauma of a cancer diagnosis.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Second Opinion provided a complete record review and treatment options for my mother's cancer diagnosis. Words can't express our gratitude to the Second Opinion during our time of need. Their care and compassion is exceptional and I would highly recommend the Second Opinion to anyone seeking medical guidance.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have heard first hand about all of the valuable help provided by Second Opinion

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

After being given an unexpected treatment diagnosis I searched for another opinion. The Doctors and staff at Thesecondopinion were professional, compassionate and caring. Their explanation of my medical situation was thorough and basic enough for my husband and I to understand. They were patient with my many questions and in the end we felt confident with their recommendation.

4

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Second Opinion is a truly superior non-profit with a mission to help all cancer patients, regardless of income.
This is a great organization with a caring staff--- an absolute must visit by cancer patients who want to understand more about their cancer. And all services are free.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

theSecondopinion provides a service which is valuable and, as far as I can determine ,unique in the country. The availability of a truly objective, multidisciplinary second opinion in adult oncology gives valuable guidance, advice, and support to patients when they are at their most vulnerable.